We talk to Abby Block about Saloon 151 and her busy life outside of bartending.
What brought you to West Chester? I actually played softball at the university from 2010-11 and 2011-12. I transferred here after studying and playing my first two years at Shippensburg.
Why’d you transfer? Shippensburg wasn’t really for me. It’s very out in the country. I needed a busier environment. West Chester seemed like a good option.
Had you spent any time here before making the switch? A little. A lot of my friends in high school were older, and a few of my friends went to WCU. I visited them in high school. I chose not to come here right after high school because I wanted to get farther from home, but after two years I felt like I’d done that. WCU had a strong softball program, and it happened to fit.
Were you bartending and playing softball? I’d bartend when I came back home from Shippensburg. When I transferred to WCU, I bartended while playing.
Woah. Was it difficult to balance? In the beginning it was. Just because working Sunday night, then having class all day Monday, followed by practice… it took getting used to. Plus, at first I was commuting to and from Drexel Hill, so I switched to PJ Whelihan’s on 202. I felt the busy schedule was worth it because it gave me the financial freedom that I needed and a lot
of kids my age didn’t have. How long were you at PJs? I was there
from 2011 until Saloon 151 opened.
Why make the switch? At PJ’s I was more of a server because it was a busy restaurant. I wanted to focus more on bartending, and really wanted to be in town…plus—to tell the truth—I was making better money at Saloon.
Wait. There was a point where you were working two jobs? For a while there I worked a couple shifts at Saloon, couple at PJs. I was lucky enough to get weekend shifts at Saloon, plus being in town is so much more fun. Saloon won out.
Do you live in town? Right on Market. I lived in Delaware, then moved back into town in April, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
What is it you like so much? I love that anytime I want to go out with friends, we don’t have to worry about rides—we can just walk. There are so many shops and restaurants, and there is so much to do.
What nights are you working now? I work at Saloon Friday and Saturday nights. Friday nights we do Stella draft specials until midnight, and Saturdays are lager draft specials. We have DJs both nights.
What do you do the rest of the week? I work in medical sales.
I should’ve known you’d stay constantly busy. Yeah, but I like it that way!
Photo: Sabina Sister
Interview: Dan Mathers